Microsoft Office on Windows Gets an ARM64 version and a New Visual update


After Microsoft released the first official preview version of the new operating system Windows 11 for Insiders early this week, Microsoft announced an update to the interface of its office suite applications on Windows to align it up with Windows 11 new user interface changes. 

The new Office on Windows Visual Update will be offered to all Office Insiders on the beta channel on Windows 10 and Windows 11 who have version 2107 build 14228.20000 or later of Microsoft Office. 

The visual update of Office uses the Fluent Design language, and it will make it more consistent with the new Windows 11, as it will bring a top ribbon very similar to that in the new File Explorer in Windows 11, which will bring it together with other modern Windows applications and greatly improve the user experience. 

This visual update will be automatically available to any Office Insiders who are running Beta Channel builds, and it can be easily turned off using the Coming Soon feature, located in the upper right corner of the menu. In Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, simply click the megaphone icon to open the Coming Soon pane to read more about the visual refresh changes, use the toggle button to switch between the new and existing UI, to apply the setting to all office apps. 

Coming Soon isn't yet available in Access, Project, Publisher, or Visio, but if you turn on the new visual refresh in any of the above apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or OneNote), it will be also available in those four apps. 

The Coming Soon feature is available in Outlook, but it does not enable the user to enable the visual refresh on it, and he will have to activate it in one of the four aforementioned applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or OneNote) to take advantage of this new UI. 

Office now also matches your Windows theme, so you can experience the visual update in any Office theme you prefer, including black (dark mode), white, color, or dark gray. The Quick Access Toolbar is hidden by default to make the Office interface more intuitive Simply, to view it again, simply right-click the ribbon or click the Ribbon Display Options icon, and then click Show Quick Access Toolbar. 

Microsoft announced also a new native Office release for ARM64 devices running the latest Windows 11 insider builds. This release requires the user to uninstall any 32-bit Office version on his device, and be on Office Insiders Beta Channel Version 2106 (Build 14217.20002) to be able to run it. 

The applications currently enabled as ARM64 include Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word, while other applications will run in x64 emulation mode. 

Office on ARM64 is built as an ARM64EC (Emulation Compatible) application, which allows for the ARM64 code of Office to interoperate with x64 code of legacy add-ins, so the new Office for ARM64 is fully compatible with all existing 64-bit add-ins. 

Although, some features are not yet fully working on the ARM64 version of Microsoft Office, among them: 

  •  Teams integration with Outlook is not yet complete, and users won’t be able to organize Teams meeting from within Outlook because the Teams Meeting button is missing from the ribbon, but they still can use the Teams app to set up their Teams meetings. 
  • Some Search features do not yet work properly: 
    1. In Outlook, certain types of searches, such as messages from the same conversation, will not return results. 
    2. In OneNote, search speed is slow since it can’t use the index. 
    3. When using Windows to search for Office files, no results will be returned. 
    4.  In Visio, shape search returns no results. 

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